Sonja with her two equine partners

Sonja's 155-mile Tahoe Rim Trail Ride with Glue-on Horseshoes

HOOF-it and the Hoofstar glue on shoe teamed up with Sonja this summer on a 155-mile Tahoe Rim Trail ride and a 50-mile endurance ride and here is how the Hoofstar performed.

Start of the Tahoe Rim Trail - Horseback with 1 Pack Horse.   On the Trail
Hoofstar Horseshoes -Tahoe Rim Trail.   Hoofstar Glue on Horseshoes


This summer we met Sonja and her two trusty steeds Chip and Tongo and heard all about the adventures they had planned for the summer which included a 155-mile Tahoe Rim Trail rides in July and a 50-mile organized endurance ride near Bend Oregon in August. Sonja agreed to team up with us and take the Hoofstar glue on shoe with her on her adventures!

We spent some time with Sonja a week before her ride to deliver all the shoes and glue she would need for her trip, meet her two horses and help her fit the right shoes. The Tahoe Rim Trail ride would prove to be challenging to both her, her horses and our Hoofstar shoes.

Sonja was able to get a pretty good fit and great bond a few days prior to leaving for the Rim Trail ride. Her husband and other friends would check on her periodically to re-stock her with supplies any products she may need to keep her Hoofstars working for her along the way.

Grazing on the Tahoe Rim Trail 

She experienced all kinds of terrain on the Tahoe Rim from dusty dirt trails to trails over run with shale and rocks and the occasional stream to cross. She confirmed that the shoe had worn pretty well and, in terrain that wasn’t super rocky, the shoes would last 40 plus miles easily, mostly getting worn on the toe.

Packing on the Tahoe Rim Trail


She did however, lose a few pairs out there because the rocky terrain was very unforgiving and it really put these shoes to the test. The stress bending and twisting on the rocky trails would cause the side wall to separate from the shoe and the glue would separate from the hoof. Overall, she said she loved the shoes and would love to take them on her 50-mile endurance ride that she would be doing in August with Chip.

 The Mary & Ann Memorial Endurance Ride outside of Bend Oregon took them about 9 hours to complete and led them through mostly dry desert and some rocky areas. Their ride consisted of three loops. The first was 24 miles, the second 15 miles and the third and final loop was 11 miles. Sonja glued on her Hoofstars three days before her ride and she’s happy to report that the shoes stayed on for the entire ride and performed perfectly for her! She gave the Hoofstar glue on shoes a thumbs up!



Read more →

Barefoot vs. Shoeing

A common debate in the horse world these days is whether or not to shoe your horse. Of course this can only be answered by knowing what you are requiring of your horse and the current condition of its feet. A horse that is retired and spending his days on pasture has different needs than a competition cutting horse. Other than an occasional hoof trim the pasture horse should be fine going barefoot. The question becomes more complicated when the level of your horse’s activity is raised. One thing that I have noticed is that you rarely see a non-working horse come up lame. I believe that a big part of this is that when we ride we are placing unnatural stresses on the hoof. While it is true that wild horses live out their lives unshod, it is also true that natural selection takes the horses that have weak feet. In addition, the restrictions we place on the horse’s movement in various disciplines are issues which the wild or pasture horse does not have to deal with. For example, when we ride we control the headset of our horse for appearance more often than for function (i.e. pleasure classes), our horses also constantly have to compensate for the weight of the rider above them, which compromises their balance. We also ask them to move in ways that generally affect their overall carriage and hoof placement. Finally, working horses are first and foremost athletes, subject to the same types of injuries as their human counterparts. In the wild, a horse moves freely without a lot of repetitive motion. The working horse is asked to repeat gaits over and over again causing the hoof to strike the same way. In humans, runners in particular, this is called Repetitive Motion Injury. I feel that this sort of disciplined movement is the cause of most hoof problems. I have found that a happy medium between steel shoes and barefoot to be the composite shoe. In a composite shoe or a hybrid composite horseshoe you get the benefits of support and shock absorption, while retaining the flexibility and the circulation of going barefoot.

Read more →

HOOF-it Glue On Horseshoes

Somken Up Lee (Smoke) is a 22 year old own son of Mr. Gunsmoke who has had careers in cutting, jumping and now dressage. He's been way above average in all three sports, and though he's proven himself to be "golden", he does have one problem... he does have BAD FEET. They are thin and shelly, and after a full summer and fall of competition, his feet are so broken up my shoer has to be quite clever to even find a place to put nails to hold a shoe on.   Enter the glue shoe and HOOF-it!! My vet, shoer, and I felt he needed to go barefoot for the winter, but being very flat footed and tender without shoes he couldn't be ridden. We decided to try a glue shoe and keep ridding. It was suggested that I have Steve Samet take over as he did most with the glue shoe in my area. To make a long story short... Steve has found a way to help keep glue shoes on. HOOF-it is an incredible product for helping in many situations, this being one. He brushed HOOF-it over the glue shoe, thus helping hold the shoe on, and in doing so he stabilized the whole hoof capsule, gave the foot lots of support, and Smoke traveled and performed well... he was one happy camper, as was I. Now going to summer, we have a healthy, not so toey foot that should hold a shoe until winter when I certainly will use HOOF-it and glue shoes once again. Many thanks to HOOF-it, Steve and Sean for their help!!!

Read more →